Tuesday, January 25, 2022

LIVE: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki Holds Press Briefing

White House spokesman Jen Psaki is expected to hold a briefing on Wednesday.

The event is scheduled to begin at 3:00 pm ET. Check out Psaki’s lines in the player above.

The Biden administration is redoubling its efforts to expand the supply and availability of COVID-19 testing as it faces growing criticism of long queues and shortages of testing supplies across the country, as well as confusion over when to get testing amid the surge in omicrons. …

The White House announced on Wednesday that a dedicated stream of 5 million rapid tests and 5 million laboratory PCR tests will be provided to schools starting this month to reduce supply shortages and facilitate safe school reopening.

It says that Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Health Security Center at Bloomberg School of Public Health, will join the COVID-19 team to oversee the intensified testing. The steps were taken just days before private insurance companies were required to reimburse Americans for test costs and the launch of a new federal website where Americans can order free tests delivered to their doorstep.

However, the push in test shipments is likely to be too late for many Americans trying to safely deal with the surge in omicron-fueled cases that are already showing signs of a peak.

Dr. Rochelle Walenski, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on Wednesday offered guidance on when Americans should use tests that were in short supply as Americans traveled and saw family during the busy holiday season.

“Americans should be tested when they develop symptoms similar to COVID-19,” she said, including fever, cough, sore throat, respiratory symptoms and muscle aches. She also said they should test after known exposure to the virus, usually five days after exposure or sooner as part of school and workplace testing protocols.

“Of course, if you are going to get together with your family, if you are going to a meeting where there are immunocompromised or elderly people, or where there are people who may be unvaccinated or poorly protected from the vaccine, this could be an opportunity. you want to check, ”she added.

The school testing initiative, which was announced Wednesday, comes after the nation’s third-largest public school system in Chicago closed for days due to a deadlock between teachers and officials over reopening policies. The closure became a black eye for President Joe Biden, who made opening schools and keeping them open a priority.

Education Minister Miguel Cardona said students should be in their classrooms, and this announcement demonstrates the administration’s commitment to helping schools stay open.

“We are doing everything we can to ensure that our children have the opportunity to stay in school,” Cardona said Wednesday on CBS Mornings. “This is where they need to be and we know we can do it safely.”

States are asking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for tests, Cardona said, adding that he expects the spread to begin as early as next week.

“We recognize that schools are the centers of society,” and they should be open to learning, the secretary added, saying it was “vital for our students.”

“We have made it very clear, publicly and privately, that we want schools to open,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday. She cited the sheer volume of funding for schools as evidence that the administration was ensuring that “we were prepared and had the resources necessary to deal with any problems that might arise during a pandemic.”

The new test suite is enough to cover only a small fraction of the more than 50 million students and teachers in the nation’s schools, but that’s on top of the more than $ 10 billion allocated for school tests allowed under the COVID-19 relief law. and about $ 130 billion in this law is earmarked for children to go to school.

The administration hopes the tests will fill a critical shortage in schools struggling to get tests with existing federal funding or facing outbreaks of the more contagious variant of COVID-19.

The administration is also working to target other federal government-backed landfills to support school testing programs, including placing FEMA facilities in schools.

In addition, the CDC is set to release new guidance later this week to help schools implement a test of stay policy, in which schools use rapid tests to maintain close contact with those who test positive in the classroom.

Nation World News Deskhttps://nationworldnews.com
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